June and July seem to be very full and exciting months this year, and even though quite a few people have been away there is lots going on in our churches. I’ve had the privilege to officiate at the first wedding of the year in Holy Innocents’ Church and we’ve had six baptisms this year already in our Benefice, two adults and four children. Sadly, we’ve also had to say farewell to several parishioners at their funerals, but it is always a privilege to be asked to offer support and hope to families at such a difficult time.
We had a wonderful Coffee Morning at the Vicarage where over 50 of us from Great Barton and Thurston enjoyed coffee, cake and lots of banter. The weather was terrible, but perhaps it helped that we were in such a confined space as it made for animated conversations. We had a raffle and a bring & buy and we raised £235 to be shared between our two churches.
We gathered for Café Church again on the third Sunday which was also Fathers’ Day and we still managed a congregation of over 50 as we learnt more about Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our singing was accompanied by the Music Group who were in very good form and Ali, our new choir leader led us in an enthusiastic singing of the Peruvian Gloria. Everyone joined in with the actions and lots of art and craft was produced while we enjoyed a buffet breakfast that included croissants, fruit and hot drinks. In the evening we welcomed the Sampford Singers with Rev’d Philip Tarris from Ali’s previous benefice for a wonderful Choral Evensong. We quickly made new friends and we hope to make a return visit to the Radwinter Benefice some time next year.
As I write this, we prepare to say farewell to Susan, our Ordinand in Training. Her last Sunday with us will be on 23June and she will be ordained Deacon at the Cathedral the following Saturday. I am also looking forward to our Parish BBQ which, no doubt, will again be a very happy Church-family occasion. Let’s just hope that the weather will be kind!
And it’s that time of the year again, eagerly anticipated by some, dreaded by others... The summer holidays are about to start with the schools breaking up in July. I’m sure the children can’t wait for the schools to close their doors, but those who are moving on to secondary school or university may feel a little sad at leaving some of their friends behind. And they may be apprehensive at what lies ahead: new school, new start, perhaps a move to a different place. Good luck to you all.
For those of you with younger children, we will be holding our Holiday Club days again on three Thursdays in August. There will be an Art and Craft Day on 8 August, a Bake Off on 15 August, both at the Church Institute in Great Barton, and then a ‘Musical Mayhem’ Day at St Peter’s in Thurston on 22 August. Do get in touch if you’d like to come to any or all of these, or if you can offer some help. More details elsewhere in this Newsletter, and information will also be posted on our website www.greatbartonandthurston.org.uk and on our Facebook page. It really helps if you let us know in advance if you are planning to come, but we’ll still have a place or two for those who forget to book!
And what’s more, come and be part of our Church community – we have lots of fun, we share fellowship and we aim to grow in faith together. We are hoping to arrange another Confirmation Preparation group for the autumn; do get in touch if you or any of your children are interested in Confirmation.
I wish you all a lovely summer and a restful and refreshing time, and I’ll leave you with words from the Gospel of St Matthew: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We hope to see you soon.
Yours in Christ, Manette
Rev’d Manette Crossman, Vicar of Great Barton and Thurston Tel. 01284 787554 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org